Dossier: New Media in the Muslim World

Demonstrators in Tunis burning a picture of the former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (photo: dapd)

Social media and the Arab Spring in Tunisia

Not as soft as jasmine

Social media did not topple Tunisia's dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, but they certainly played an important role. According to the Tunisian blogger Aya Chebbi, cyber activism is now an important tool for democratisation in this North African countryMore

A woman wearing a headscarf standing in front of a camera (photo: DW)

Journalism from the Middle East

Tall Tales from the Desert

A blogging Syrian lesbian, Libyan soldiers in a Viagra-fuelled frenzy, Tunisian women on a sexual Jihad: The blend of sex, Islam and war is failsafe bait for western media, which often fall for propaganda from the Middle East. Not all of the stories are hoaxes, but many of them are. By Sonja Zekri in CairoMore

Protests by Egyptian journalists against police harassment (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Lina Attalah

"The Media Are PR Machines of the Military"

After being dismissed from the newspaper Egypt Independent, editor-in-chief Lina Attalah founded the alternative news website Mada Masr. Egyptian media are in "a very precarious condition", she says – and calls for a new kind of critical journalism. Interview by Jannis HagmannMore

Egyptian riot police look up as they watch Alaa, the son of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, seen on a large TV screen erected outside the Cairo criminal court, as he reaches out to cover the lens of a TV camera during his arrival for his trial along side his father and brother accused of corruption and murder on August 15, 2011 (photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Media in Egypt

Fall into Line or Switch Off

Just two years ago, the Arab Spring prompted many observers to talk about supposed Facebook revolutions. Looking at the state of the media today, and especially in Egypt, we can see a return to the old mechanisms of safeguarding authoritarian rule. By Carola RichterMore

Facebook graffito in Tunisia (photo: Imago)

New Media and Democratization in the Arab World

No Pedestal for Facebook and Twitter

Were the revolutions in the Arabic world started by social networks? Tunisian publicist Amel Grami is sceptical, and warns against the extremist potential of the new mediaMore

Screenshot of the Facebook fan site of the Burka Avenger (source: DW)

Pakistani Cartoon Series

Superhero in a Burqa

A burqa-wearing superhero? The first episode of Haroon Rashid's animated "Burka Avenger" has been broadcast in Pakistan. The creator of the series says he wants to create a role model for girls in his country. By Rachel BaigMore

Fauzia Shaheen (photo: private)

Interview with Pakistani Media Expert Fauzia Shaheen

How Pakistan's Media Is Defending Democracy

Fauzia Shaheen is a media expert, women's activist and president of the Women Media Centre in Pakistan. She would like to promote equal opportunities for women in Pakistan's media by training female journalists. Julie Schwannecke spoke to her about the current role of the media, press freedom and democracy in PakistanMore

Computer keyboard with an "Iran" key (photo: Fotolia/keybox)

The Internet in Iran

Touchpad of the Revolution

Media scholar Marcus Michaelsen's study about the role played by the Internet in the Iranian reform movement shows that blogging for regime change is a serious business. The resulting book is no Facebook thriller, but the story of blanket media suppression at national level. By Sarah SchaschekMore

Anti-American protests in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

After the Military Coup in Egypt

State-tolerated Xenophobia

Egypt has been flooded by a wave of xenophobia. Not only Americans, but above all Palestinians and Syrians are suffering from regime-tolerated media agitation against foreigners. Matthias Sailer reports from CairoMore

Campaign for the release of Syrian activist and software developer Bassel Khartabil (photo: ©

Internet Activists in Syria

Virtual (Counter-)Revolution

Online activists in Syria have been involved in the anti-Assad rebellion from the outset. And although the regime is now playing them at their own game, their online presence shows one thing above all else: That in this nation at war, civil resistance continues to exist. By Jannis HagmannMore

An Iranian police officer standing in front of a poster of the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran (photo: mehrnews)

State Surveillance in Iran

''There's No Such Thing as Your Own Four Walls''

People in Iran – and women in particular – have long known that not much is private in the Islamic Republic of Iran: the state is all too fond of monitoring and trying to control what its citizens do in private. But when a cult TV figure starts telling the nation that there should be no distinction between the public and the private in the Islamic Republic, it does not bode well for the future. By Ali SadrzadehMore

Activists in Lahore holding placards at a rally on International Women's Day (photo: REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)

Woman and Social Networks in Pakistan

Hostility on the Internet

Women in Pakistan are being harassed and are encountering hostility via social networks on the Internet. At the same time, many women's rights activists see the web as a new way to further their work. By Marcus MichaelsenMore

Protest of the Turkish journalist Ruhat Mengi together with other journalists in Ankara (photo: dapd)

Commentary by Aryeh Neier

Turkey's Imprisoned Press

According human rights organisations, there were never as many journalists in prison in Turkey since the end of the military regime in 1983 as during the past year. Aryeh Neier, founding member of "Human Rights Watch", criticizes the state of media freedom of Turkey, which in his view conflicts with the nation's general human rights situationMore

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demonstrating in Cairo against President Mursi and his controversial decrees in November 2012 (photo: dapd)

The Impact of Crowd Dynamics on the Arab Spring

Like Dark Clouds Gathering before a Storm

In this essay, Sami Mahroum takes a closer look at the genesis, dynamics and impact of crowds in particular in the Arab world, where crowds – both spontaneous and those born through social media – have been shaping political processes since before the Arab SpringMore

Riot police watch as an Bahraini anti-government protester holds up a picture of jailed political leader Hassan Mushaima with the words 'Mushaima is in danger', during a protest in Diraz, Bahrain, on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 (photo: Hasan Jamali/AP/dapd)

The Arab Spring and the Media

Distorted Images

Why have Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and most western media neglected to report on the uprisings in Bahrain? Is it true that in Syria, Alawites are fighting against Sunni Muslims? And who were the real victims of the Houla massacre? Amira Mohsen Galal takes a look at some of the most striking flaws in reporting on the Arab Spring, two years after the uprisings beganMore

Employee at the Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha, Qatar (photo: AP)

Arab States in Transition and the Role of the Media

Why We Should Pay More Attention to Arab Media

The Arab Spring took both regional potentates and the West by surprise. One of the reasons was that Arab media was almost totally ignored, claims the political scientist Asiem El-DifraouiMore